April 8, 2014

Matadors Face Roadrunners, Gauchos in Five-Game Slate

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NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- 

Cal State Northridge Hosts UC Santa Barbara for Three-game Weekend Series

The Cal State Northridge softball team (25-14, 3-3 Big West) has a busy week ahead as it plays five game. On Wednesday, April 9, the Matadors head to Bakersfield to face the Bakersfield Roadrunners in a non-conference doubleheader at Roadrunner Softball Complex. First pitch between the longtime Division II rivals is slated for 1 p.m. Following the trip to Bakersfield, CSUN resumes league play with a Big West Conference series at home against UC Santa Barbara. The Matadors and Gauchos will play a doubleheader on Saturday, April 12, followed by a single game on Sunday, April 13. Both days are slated to being at noon at Matador Diamond. Live stats will be available for all five contests with links at GoMatadors.com.

Last week, CSUN won its first Big West series of the 2014 season by taking two out of three games with UC Davis. CSUN jumped out to a 5-1 victory in the first game behind a complete game in the circle from Brianna Elder. Game two saw CSUN nearly rally from down 5-2 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh before stranding the tying run at third base in a 5-4 loss. In the series finale, Elder shined again and allowed only four hits in posting her second shutout of the season. For her efforts, which included a streak of 13-straight scoreless innings, Elder received her second Big West Pitcher of the Week award of the season.

This week, CSUN tangles with Bakersfield and UC Santa Barbara in important contests as the Matadors hit the stretch run of the 2014 season. Bakersfield enters Wednesday's contest with a 10-30-1 overall record and a 3-8-1 mark at home. The Roadrunners are in their first year as a member of the Western Athletic Conference and are coming off a 2-1 series loss to Grand Canyon. Karissa Veiga leads the club with a .355 batting average and 27 runs scored. She also has six doubles, five triples and 15 RBIs on the year. Amy Ricciardi checks in with a team-high nine doubles and 17 RBIs to go with a .295 batting average. In the circle, Kelsie Monroe is 8-15 with a 3.01 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 146.2 innings of work. In all, opponents are batting .289 in 283.1 innings against CSUB pitching. CSUN won the two earlier meetings with CSUB this season and has won three straight in the series.

UC Santa Barbara comes to the San Fernando Valley for three games starting with a doubleheader on Saturday, April 12. The Gauchos are 23-16 overall and 3-3 in the Big West Conference. The Gauchos took two of three games at home against Cal Poly last weekend. At the plate, freshman Kristen Clark leads the Gauchos with a .431 batting average, 27 runs, 62 hits and 24 stolen bases. DeJanee Moore is batting .455 in six conference games to raise her season average to .333 in nine contests this season. In the circle, Shelby Wisdom is 11-11 with a 4.11 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 151 innings of work. Opponents have batted .277 in 257.1 innings of work against UCSB pitching this season. The last two times CSUN and UCSB have met at Matador Diamond for conference play have resulted in sweeps: CSUN took all three games in 2010 while UCSB won all three in 2012.

Next week, CSUN takes another break from Big West action when the Matadors head to Los Angeles to square off with nationally ranked UCLA. The Matadors and Bruins will meet in a single game on Tuesday, April 15 at 3 p.m. at Easton Stadium. Following the game with UCLA, CSUN gets back to league play with a road series at UC Riverside. Because of Easter Sunday, the Matadors and Highlanders will play a doubleheader on Friday, April 18, followed by a single game on Saturday, April 19. Friday's doubleheader will start at 1:30 p.m. and Saturday's finale will being at noon. 

Brianna the Elder

Junior Brianna Elder earned her second Big West Pitcher of the Week award of the season after posting a pair of complete game victories over UC Davis. Against the Aggies, Elder did not allow a run over her final 13 innings of work and picked up her second shutout of the season in Sunday's finale. For the season, she is 17-6 with a 1.89 ERA and 104 K's in 140.2 innings of work. She is second in the Big West with 17 wins and also ranks second in ERA, second in opponent batting average (.216), third in strikeouts and third in innings pitched. She earned the first Big West Pitcher of the Week award of her career after going 2-0 with a save and a 0.55 ERA in CSUN victories over Utah State and LMU. In the Matadors' home-opening victory over Portland State, Elder struck out a career-high 13 batters and tossed her sixth complete game of the year. She posted complete game victories over New Mexico and UNLV at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. Earlier this season, she tossed a complete game with 11 strikeouts in a win vs. Oregon State and picked up her first career save with two innings of work vs. Seattle.

CSUN's Lethal Weapon

Freshman Taylor Glover checks in among the Big West Conference's top five in multiple offensive categories. A rookie from Los Angeles, Glover is fourth in batting average (.397), third in slugging (.618) and eighth in on-base percentage (.437). She leads the Big West with 35 RBIs and is tied for the lead league with five triples. Glover is also second in the league with 81 total bases, is tied for second with 52 hits and is third with 29 runs scored. Glover earned Big West Player of the Week honors after she batted .533 with three runs scored, five RBIs and two stolen bases as CSUN went 4-0 in games vs. Utah State and LMU. The rookie owns a team-best 15 multi-hit games this season and also has eight multi-RBI games, including two four-RBI performances. Glover owned a 17-game hitting streak at one point during the season and batted .421 with two home runs, two doubles and eight RBIs in the Matadors' 4-1 weekend against Harvard, Pacific and Bakersfield. On the basepaths, Glover ranks third in the Big West with 15 stolen bases.

Hooper Drives the Boat Chief

Freshman Katie Hooper has had a strong start to her college career thus far in 2014. The rookie from Sun Valley, Calif., is batting .286 with six doubles on the season. She is second on the team in RBIs with 24 and leads CSUN with 14 walks. In a win over Boise State, she became the 28th Matador in program history to hit two home runs in a game. She also has three stolen bases, 10 runs scored and a triple on the year. She scored a career-high three runs in a win over Grand Canyon and has had nine two-hit games. Hooper is second on the Matadors with seven multi-RBI games, including a career-high four RBIs in the win over Boise State.

Linn-Sanity Comes to CSUN

Junior Abby Linn sports a .313 batting average heading into the Matadors' games this week. For the season, Linn has scored 23 runs, collected 41 hits and has two doubles. After posting zero triples in her first two seasons, Linn has already produced two three-baggers to rank tied for seventh in the Big West Conference. She batted .412 with a double, a triple and two runs scored in five games at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. Linn is second on the Matadors in multi-hit games with 11, including three three-hit performances. She scored a career-high four runs in a victory over Boise State and led the Matadors with nine base hits at the Kajikawa Classic, batting .526 with two runs and a stolen base. She has 17 steals in her Matador career and they have come in 17 different games.

Bachman Toerner Overdrive

Junior Kaitlin Toerner has made the transition from junior college softball to Division I rather seamlessly in her first season at CSUN. After spending her first two seasons at Bakersfield College, Toerner is batting .390 in 35 games this season. She adds to that 19 runs scored, a double, seven RBIs and eights stolen bases. Toerner leads the team with six sacrifice bunts, a total that ranks tied for sixth in the Big West Conference, and her eight stolen bases is tied for seventh in the league. She has had two three-hit games, scored two runs twice and had a season-high two RBIs twice.

The Mitchell Report

Sophomore Maylynn Mitchell enters the weekend with a .258 batting average. She smashed her third home run of the season in a win over Boise State while also tying a career high with two runs scored in the contest. She hit the first two home runs of her CSUN career at the Kajikawa Classic, going deep against Colorado State and Seattle. For the year, Mitchell checks in with 17 runs, eight RBIs and two stolen bases. She earned All-Big West Honorable Mention honors in 2013 after a solid rookie year for the Matadors. Originally from Seattle, Wash., Mitchell batted .280 with 13 runs, four doubles, 14 RBIs, three sac bunts and two stolen bases.

It's Not Just Great, It's Pofek

Freshman Daphne Pofek has come on strong lately for the Matadors in the pitching circle. A freshman from Riverside, Calif., Pofek is 5-3 on the season with two saves and a 3.77 ERA. She picked up the first two saves of her career and a win over Pacific last week. Against Utah State, she tossed a career-high eight innings and totaled a career-high six strikeouts. She picked up first career win with 4.2 innings of one-hit relief work in a victory over Georgetown. She ranks eighth in the Big West in ERA and eighth in opponent batting average (.281). Pofek is also batting .222 at the plate and had a career-high two hits and two RBIs in the victory over Toledo.

Taylor the Nate

Freshman Taylor Nate is batting .292 on the year in 36 games this season. She has three home runs on the year, including a grand slam in a victory over Grand Canyon, and is third on the squad with 18 RBIs on the season. She has eight multi-hits games on the year, including a career-high three hits in the second victory over the LMU Lions. She also has three multi-RBI games on the year, three doubles and five stolen bases. Nate has scored 12 runs and sports a .945 fielding percentage in 128 defensive chances.

Learn Your Times Tables

CSUN batters have totaled 71 multi-hit and 27 multi-RBI games in 2014. Freshman Taylor Glover leads the team with 15 multi-hit games this year, including a career-high four hits against Western Michigan. Junior Abby Linn is second on the team with 11 multi-hit games and has two three-hit performances to her credit in 2014. Three new players to the Matador roster in 2014 (Taylor Nate, Katie Hooper and Kaitlin Toerner) are right behind Linn as Toerner and Hooper have nine apiece while Nate checks in with eight multi-hit performances. Glover also leads the team in multi-RBI games with eight, including two four-RBI performances. Hooper is second on the squad with seven multi-RBI games and she and Nate each have registered a four-RBI game this year.

Basepaths Beware

CSUN has stolen 52 bases in 39 games this season, the second-most thefts in the Big West Conference. Individually, Taylor Glover leads the team and ranks third in the league with 15 stolen bases. She needs five more steals to set a new program single-season Division I record. Fellow rookie Carissa Sherman and junior Kaitlin Toerner are tied for second on the team with eight steals each, tying for the seventh-most in the Big West. Glover, Sherman and Toerner all have a two-steal game to their credit in 2014 while Abby Linn has six steals, Taylor Nate adds five and three other Matadors have at least two.

We're All Making Sacrifices around Here

CSUN has recorded 25 sacrifice bunts through its first 39 games of 2014 with Kaitlin Toerner leading the squad with six. That total is tied for sixth in the Big West Conference and as a team, CSUN is sixth in the league. In 2013, the Matadors finished second in the Big West Conference with 62 sacrifice bunts. Among the returning players, Abby Linn had seven last year and owns nine for career. Bindi had six last year and owns a team-high 15 for her career. Over the past five years, CSUN has averaged over 51 sacrifice bunts per season. During that span, CSUN has finished no worse than fourth among all Big West clubs in the category.

Double or Triple Your Pleasure

Thirteen different Matadors have recorded a double in 2014 thus far, led by Taylor Glover's seven on the year. Katie Hooper is second on the team with six doubles and with 33 doubles in 39 games, CSUN is seventh in the Big West Conference. In 2013, CSUN smashed 65 doubles, which tied for second in the Big West Conference and represented 30 more than they had in 2012. Among the returning players, Sydney House and Crystal Maas were second on the team with eight. Five other returning players had at least two on the season. Surprisingly, all the extra-base hits last year produced just two triples, both coming off the bat of Tanna Bindi. This year, the Matadors are tied for second in the conference with nine triples. Taylor Glover owns more than half that total (5) to tie for the most in the Big West. Abby Linn already has two triples, the first two of her CSUN career, and Bindi picked up the third of her career in CSUN's win over Portland State.

Taking One for the Team

CSUN batters have been hit by a pitch 13 times in 2014 through 39 games, the fewest in the Big West Conference. The Matadors were hit by a pitch a league-high 53 times in 2013. In fact, CSUN has led the Big West Conference in HBP in three of the last five seasons: 2010, 2012, 2013. Among the returning players, sophomore Maylynn Mitchell was hit 11 times in 2013, the third-most beanings in the Big West Conference. Leann Lopez was hit four times while fellow senior Tanna Bindi was plunked three times last year. Since the 2009 season, CSUN has averaged over 46 hit-by-pitches per season and led the Big West in 2010, 2012 and 2013.

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